District 7 Delegates: “Maryland Gas Tax Up 74 Percent”

-The following article was submitted by Delegates Ryan Nawrocki & Kathy Szeliga (District 7A) and Lauren Arikan (District 7B) about the gas tax increase.-

Did you know that the gas tax goes up every July 1st?  Maryland’s gas taxes are already high.

Starting July 1st, 2023, the state tax rate of a gallon of gas will increase to $.47 per gallon, an increase of more than 10% compared to the current rate. Over the last two years, the tax has increased by 30% due to inflation and surging fuel prices.

Owners of diesel-powered vehicles will experience a similar increase with the state gas tax increasing from nearly $.435 per gallon to nearly $.478 per gallon on July 1. Over the last two years, the state tax on diesel has increased by more than 29%.

This is another blow to local businesses in addition to the passage of the Clean Trucks Act of 2023 which will force the move toward the purchase of only very expensive electric trucks in the near future.

The motor fuel tax cost Marylanders $1.162 billion last year.  The state tax increase will be on top of the federal tax of $.183 cents per gallon for regular fuel and $.234 per gallon for diesel.

On top of that, every Maryland family will pay added costs on everything they buy as the goods we use are mostly delivered in trucks and vans that will be paying more for gas and diesel.

In 2013, the liberals in Annapolis passed the first increase in the gas tax in more than two decades.

Not just a single tax increase, but Governor O’Malley and the liberal leadership pushed an annual gas tax increase tied to the Consumer Price Index – CPI – or inflation.

This guaranteed that when families were hurting the worst in the future under rising inflation, Maryland would add more taxes to an already strapped budget.

In 2013 when the state gas tax increase was passed, it was $.27 per gallon.  With the automatic increases, the tax will be $.47 per gallon.

That’s a 74% increase in the Maryland gas tax without a single vote by legislators in Annapolis.

This past session in Annapolis, we had a chance to put a stop to the automatic gas tax increases.  Our colleague from St. Mary’s County, Delegate Matt Morgan, proposed an amendment to stop those automatic increases.

This amendment would have saved motorists from a $62.5 million tax increase starting on July 1st.  His amendment was voted down.

It was a party-line vote with Republicans voting yes and all but two Democrats shamefully voting to keep the yearly gas tax increases.

These motor fuel tax increases continue to happen year after year since 2013 and they will go on for eternity.

This gives Marylanders the disappointment of having the fourth highest gas tax in the U.S. behind California, Pennsylvania, and Washington State and is second highest in the Mid-Atlantic.

Maryland is quickly following in step with California in more ways than one.  Governor Moore and radical liberals in Annapolis announced this year that Maryland will follow California with rules to phase out the sale of new, gasoline or diesel-powered cars or trucks.

The ban is phased in over several years. Maryland will require 50% of the vehicles sold in the state to be electric within the next four years and will have a total ban on the sale of gas or diesel-powered cars by 2035.

We believe that this isn’t fair for hard-working Marylanders who rely on their cars to go to work or get their kids to school.  Marylanders should be able to trust the government to look out for them!

What we see in Annapolis is a very clear agenda that gives tax relief to mass transit riders and owners of electric vehicles, and not to drivers who put gas in their cars and trucks.  And who can afford an electric vehicle even if you want one?

In today’s economy, families can’t afford to fill up their cars. Everything that is delivered by truck is now more expensive.  All the prices in the grocery store are more expensive such as necessities like eggs and milk.

Families don’t have the opportunity to save in this economy.  So when forced to purchase an electric vehicle by 2035 in Maryland, these families will be out of luck!  Imagine a new teen driver who can barely pay for their gas money and driver’s insurance, let alone a Tesla!

But those teens won’t have a summer job anyway since the minimum wage increase will have forced them out of the labor market.

The liberal leadership in Annapolis should take accountability for these taxes and put an end to the annual tax increase at the gas pump. We will keep fighting for you and your family.

This annual gas tax increase is wrong. Increasing motor fuel taxes by 74% without a vote by politicians is immoral and should come to an end. We will be sponsors of the bill again next year and work to get it passed. We won’t give up.

Benjamin Joseph

Benjamin Joesph has covered news in Eastern Baltimore County since 2006. He started as a reporter with the original East County Times in 2006. He started East Baltco News and later Eastcountytimes.com in 2022.